SPS Technologies faces federal complaint over retaliatory firing

By Jon Campisi | Feb 12, 2013

A Pennsylvania man claims in a newly filed civil action that he was fired from his 34-year

A Pennsylvania man claims in a newly filed civil action that he was fired from his 34-year

human resources job at a manufacturing facility last year in retaliation for his involvement with two prior lawsuits that had been filed against the company.

Maple Glen, Pa. resident Gerald Creed alleges in his complaint, which was filed Feb. 8 at the federal courthouse in Philadelphia, that he was terminated in late October 2012 from his job at Jenkintown, Pa.-based SPS Technologies because he was “associated” with two cases in which civil litigation was initiated against the company.

Those two federal cases were Zielinski v. SPS Technologies and Burke v. SPS Technologies.

The prior lawsuits involved claims of national origin discrimination and retaliation and age discrimination respectively.

In the present case, Creed, who is 61 years old, and who began working for SPS in 1978, says he was fired from his job on Oct. 31 of last year because of his alleged involvement with the past complaints.

Creed, who had worked in various human resource positions at the company over his three-plus-decade career, claims in his lawsuit that he was not the “decision-making manager” with regard to any decisions concerning the employees who were the plaintiffs in the prior actions.

In Zielinski, Creed had “limited input” in the decision to terminate the employee, and in Burke Creed had no involvement in the decision to fire the employee, the lawsuit states.

“At all times when Plaintiff Creed was questioned in legal proceedings regarding the facts and circumstances surrounding Zielinski and Burke, Creed testified truthfully,” the complaint reads. “Other than Plaintiff Creed, no other SPS employee who was involved in any investigation or decision regarding the employees who were Plaintiffs in Zielinski and Burke, the decision to terminate the employees, or who testified under oath in Zielinski and Burke, had their employment terminated by Defendant SPS.”

The other employees who were involved in any investigation or decision regarding the employees who were plaintiffs in those prior two cases were also substantially younger than Creed, the suit states.

Furthermore, Creed’s complaint alleges, at no time prior to his termination did the company ever advise Creed that the manner in which he handled any issue pertaining to the employees in the other two cases was deficient.

Therefore, the lawsuit concludes, Creed’s firing was actually pretextual.

After his firing, Creed was replaced by a much younger worker, a woman who is in her early 30s, the suit says.

“In terminating Plaintiff Creed’s employment Defendant SPS was motivated by a continuing desire to terminate ‘older employees’ employed at SPS’s Jenkintown facility and replace the ‘older employees’ with a [sic] substantially younger employees,” the complaint states. “Defendant SPS has exhibited a pattern and practice of terminating older employees and subsequently hiring substantially younger employees at SPS’s Jenkintown facility.”

As a result of his firing, Creed has suffered “significant financial losses, substantial pain and suffering, loss of self-esteem and other damages,” the complaint says.

The plaintiff accuses the defendant of violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

Creed, who seeks more than $150,000 in damages, is being represented by Blue Bell, Pa. attorney Andrew S. Abramson.


The federal case number is 2:13-cv-00718-EL.

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